ASHINGTON manager Gary Middleton applauded his side for what he described as being a fantastic result, but was nevertheless critical of them for not winning by a bigger margin at Consett on Saturday.
Middleton emerged from the dressing rooms and said: “Make no mistake about it - this was a fantastic result, and especially to come back after a disappointing performance and defeat against Bishop Auckland on Wednesday.
“We knew it would be a difficult game at Consett – they played us coming off the back of a 1-0 win over championship contenders Spennymoor in midweek – but I thought we started really well and where we had left off against Shildon at a high tempo and where the workrate was good.”
Middleton praised individuals but was disappointed in the goals ratio after he had written down the number of chances his side created in the first half.
“We had 11 good opportunities to score goals in the first half and caused Consett all sorts of problems,” he said.
“I thought Marc Walton and Jonny Godsmark were fantastic up front whilst some of the through balls from Tommy English were pure class.
“We controlled the middle of the park through James Taylor and Michael Tait and we were deservedly two-nil up at the interval and disappointed if anything not to have gone in by more.
“We carved them open time after time and the game should have been dead and buried.”
Middleton revealed that the half-time team talk was for much of the same.
“Consett had gone down to ten men during that first period and we said the right things to the players at the break.
“We told them they had to keep working hard as Consett had nothing to lose and they would come out fighting, and to be honest the second half was a bit deflating.
“The goal we conceded was poor defensively, and yes, we took our foot off the pedal, but I also know it is difficult to keep the tempo and the pace up which we want for the whole 90 minutes.”
He added: “If I’m looking for perfection then I’m a bit disappointed that we didn’t win more comfortably and cruise the second half, which is the way we wanted to do it, but it wasn’t to be.
“Overall I would have been happy with any win at 3pm, so I’m thrilled to bits with the result.”